Natural breeding of barn owls, Tyto alba, at Tunggal Perkasa Oil Palm Plantation, Air Molek, Riau, Indonesia
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Tyto alba is an effective predator that can be utilized to control rats, Rattus tiomanicus Miller, a serious pest of oil palms (Medway and Young, 1970; Wood, 1985, ; Duckett, 1976, 1981, 1984; Lenton, 1978, 1980a, 1980b, 1980c, 1983, 1984). Since 1995 trials on the breeding of T.alba using nest boxes have been developed at Tunggal Perkasa Oil Palm Plantation and have proven that (I) Breeding of T. alba is easily encouraged over a large area (14, 134 Ha) by the provision of suitable nest boxes as breeding site. (2) The population of T. alba will increase when the number of nest boxes in the estate increased and their food were sufficient. (3) Adequate management of nest boxes plays and important role on the effectiveness of T. alba breeding. Having recognized that breeding of T. alba would encourage biological control of rats over a large area of oil palms. The oil palm industry should, therefore, direct its efforts towards protecting them with suitable nesting sites which will ensure their population and distribution.
- Faculty of Agriculture